Unfortunate Customer Service by Paramus Hyundai | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 6, 2018

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

In the middle of last week, I noticed that my car was riding a bit rough, and was making what could only be called a growling sound when I was moving at higher than 40mph, and I was deeply concerned that the issue was coming from the engine or the transmission. As my car is still under warranty, I made an appointment to have the car checked out at 11:30am on Thursday, March 1, at Paramus Hyundai.

Contact 1: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 11:30am

I drop the car off and meet Stanley, my service center contact. Even though Paramus Hyundai’s website advertises a shuttle service to anywhere within 6 miles of the service center, I’m told that there is no one to drive the shuttle and I am out of luck. No offer to loan me a car, no offer to rent me a car, nothing. I take a Lyft back to my office. ($13.47)

This is the first thing you see when you go to the service center online:

Contact 2: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:39pm

Stanley calls to tell me that they don’t see an obvious issue, and that they will run a diagnostic test. The test costs $150, and if nothing is wrong, I have to pay for the test. I agree to the test.

Contact 3: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:07pm

Stanley calls and asks if I’ve been in an accident. I say no, and he asks if I hit a pothole, which I definitely did (and do every year because we have snow and therefore potholes). He says that I have a broken hub bearing, and that it can be fixed that day, and will cost $771. I agree to the repair.

Contact 4: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:52pm

Stanley calls again, and tells me that while they thought it wasn’t damaged, that the knuckle on the wheel with the broken hub bearing broke during the repair(he also made sure to tell me that it was probably already damaged), but that they can’t get the part until tomorrow. He says it is $300 but offers a discount of $100 off of the price, bringing my new proposed total to $971. He says that the part will be overnighted and will be delivered by 10am Friday, so my car will be ready on Friday.

Luckily, an available co-worker who lives near me drives me home from the office.

I take a Lyft to work in the morning as I still don’t have a car. ($26.14)

Contact 5: Friday, March 2, 2018, 1:06pm

I have to call Paramus Hyundai because they haven’t reached out to me. I’m told that Stanley isn’t there today, but after a period of time on hold, I hear that the part hasn’t arrived yet, that the delivery might be delayed because of the weather. I’m told I will get a call when the part arrives.

Contact 6: Friday, March 2, 2018, 3:31pm

I call them again because I haven’t heard anything. I speak to a woman who is a service manager(I don’t get her name), and she reiterates that the weather has prevented the part from being delivered. I find this hard to believe, as my office is a few minutes away, and somehow, our deliveries have all arrived without issue, regardless of some problematic weather.

She says that she’s looking into it and will call me back.

In the meantime, I have plans for the evening and the work day is over, and since I know my car isn’t fixed because the part isn’t there, I take another Lyft to go home. ($21.02)

Contact 7: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11:14am

I call Paramus Hyundai because the service manager from Friday never called back about the status of the part needed for my car to be fixed.

I speak to another woman that I haven’t talked to before. I am asked who my contact was, and I say Stanley, and I’m told that he isn’t there. She asks my name again, and when she repeats it, the service manager from Friday chimes in to say “Oh we don’t get deliveries on the weekend. It might be here on Monday, but maybe Tuesday.” I ask if they are going to call me to tell me when the part arrives, and I get a yes.

I get a ride to Enterprise Car Rental, and rent a car that I’m supposed to return on Tuesday. ($160.54) (Updated cost to $214.06, see below.)

Contact 8: Monday, March 5, 2018, 12:56pm

I call again, because I still haven’t heard anything. I mentioned that Stanley was my contact, and then am told “he doesn’t work here anymore,” which is slightly distressing. I’m told that my part hasn’t arrived yet.

Contact 9: Monday, March 5, 2018, 3:41pm

I call, again, to see if the part is there. I am finally told that it arrived and that my car will be ready tomorrow. I ask, again, if someone will call me when the car is ready, and they say yes.

It’s Tuesday now and I haven’t heard anything yet. It is 12pm.

I cannot believe the runaround I have been through with the service center from the dealership. I was told by so many people that Hyundai was so great, and that hasn’t been my experience at all. I have been previously irritated with this particular service center, and while I would love to not go back, I had to use a dealer service center when I thought that I might be dealing with an issue that would be warranty-covered. I probably would have taken the car somewhere else to have the wheel repaired, but when Stanley told me it would be fixed that day, I agreed, in the interest of time and the fact that my family only has 1 car, so the less time without it, the better.

At this point, all of this extra time has cost me hundreds of dollars. If anyone from Paramus Hyundai had been kinder to me, or more apologetic for the delay, I would not be as upset about this, but I literally have spent over $200 on Lyft rides and a rental car.

To say I am extremely disappointed would be an understatement. I only hope I get the car back today.

UPDATE

Contact 10: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:14pm

I called the service center as I haven’t heard anything. The woman I spoke to looked something up, put me on hold, and then came back to tell me the car is ready for pickup. Yet again, wondering if anyone would have called me, as they said they would. Did the fact that my original contact guy either quit or got fired really cause all of this delay?

A lovely coworker gave me a ride to Paramus Hyundai, so I didn’t have to take another Lyft.

Contact 11: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:45pm

I arrived and told Vivian at the counter that I was there to pick up the car. There was some confusion about it since the paperwork wasn’t done, but it wasn’t long before I was handing my credit card over to pay the $971 for the fix.

I now have 2 cars at my office, and will have to do some juggling to get Will here so that we can return the rental tonight. This has been an experience that I don’t intend to expose myself to again. I genuinely hope that this post will be seen by Hyundai, and that it gives them a case study in how tiny changes in customer interactions would completely change someone’s experience.

This Tucson is the first new car I’ve ever purchased, and I got a Hyundai because I have multiple family members with great Hyundai experiences. I haven’t experienced that as much as I wanted to, which is unfortunate. At this point in time, I can’t imagine that I will buy another Hyundai.

Tell me about your favorite car brands on Twitter.

UPDATE 2

Due to work schedules and juggling cars, we dropped the rental car off at Enterprise after they closed and put the key in the drop slot. As we didn’t get there before closing, we were charged for another day of rental on the final bill. The price for the rental is increased to $214.06.

Contact 12: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, via Twitter

After tweeting out this blog post, Hyundai responds to acknowledge my issue and asks me to follow up via phone or email. I will send an email to share this blog post with them. I am grateful for the opportunity to have my voice heard here.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

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